I pulled something out of the pocket of a jacket I hadn’t worn since last season. I know you’ve had that serendipitous experience, of discovering perhaps a forgotten $10 bill or a Werther’s Original caramel that had been stuffed into a piece of clothing. But that’s not what was in my pocket; it was an old list.

Robin checks her list.

I find them everywhere—lists in my purse, lists on my nightstand, lists under my lists. You see, I am a compulsive list-maker. I know I’m not the only one.

There are those who are list-makers and those who are not list-makers, and then there are those who are uber-list-makers—the truly OCD among us—like me. I am an uber. If you’re not a list-maker, you’re not, and you know you’re not. You’re one of those happy-go-lucky, “que sera, sera” people who skip through life not worrying, being happy. What you don’t know is that you’ve been missing out. You don’t know the little tingle, the small rush, the spark of joy you get when you cross off an item on your list. It’s a cheap thrill, but it’s still a thrill.

If you are a list-maker, you know that, too. What you may not know is the difference between yourself and an uber. I am here to illuminate the distinctions.

If you are a garden-variety list-maker, you will take the time to jot down the specific groceries you intend to buy or the items you need at the hardware store. You might make a note on your smartThing, reminding yourself to take the dog to the vet or that you need to update your tetanus shot. But you will be able to function normally without a list.

If you are an uber, you cannot.

Your day will not truly begin until you have a list. List-less, you will wander aimlessly through the kitchen, coffee cup in hand, wondering what you are supposed to do until you see, let’s say, a newspaper begging to be read. That will jolt you into action, so you will find a stray piece of paper and write down “read the newspaper,” along with 10 other tasks, and you can start your day.

If you are an uber, you will then prioritize the jobs, and if you are an advanced uber, you will also designate the time periods within the day during which the jobs will take place. If you happen to complete a task that wasn’t yet written on the list, you will write it down just for the satisfaction of crossing it off again. You know you’re an uber if you need that fix.

If you are an uber, you will take one task and break it down into multiple steps, i.e.: write the letter, address the envelope, stamp the envelope, mail the envelope. This allows for optimal crossing-off satisfaction.

If you are an uber, you will throw a little party for yourself if you actually complete everything on your list.

I hope you have been enlightened as to the differences among us. Now, if you are an uber, please cross this off your list and go about your day.

Robin Conte is a writer and mother of four who lives in Dunwoody. She can be contacted at robinjm@earthlink.net.

Robin Conte

Robin Conte lives with her husband in an empty nest in Dunwoody. To contact her or to buy her new column collection, “The Best of the Nest,” see robinconte.com.